European Round-Up | 7-9 April


  • Biggest win (scoreline): VfL Bochum 2-3 VfB Stuttgart
  • Shock result: Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0 VfL Wolfsburg
  • Star Performance: Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen) - two assists vs Eintracht Frankfurt

German giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund remain on course for a nail-biting finish to the 2022-23 Bundesliga campaign as the Bayern train continues to roll down the tracks with Dortmund close behind after their loss to the Bavarians two weeks ago. Wins against SC Freiburg and Union Berlin saw both outfits earn very credible results against two sides with top-four aspirations.

But the real story of the weekend continues to be the resurrection of Bayer Leverkusen under Xabi Alonso after the former Spanish international has risen the club from an early-season grave while guiding them to sixth in the table on the back of a five-match winning run, capped off by a 3-1 win against Eintracht Frankfurt.

At the other end of the table, Hoffenheim is now on a timely run of wins that extended to three on the spin while lifting them out of the bottom three in recent weeks, with a 2-0 win over bottom-dwellers Schalke serving them well. Stuttgart is also thankful after a weekend win against relegation candidates Bochum, and though they remain in the bottom three, are now just three points off their previous opponents.

  • Top Six: Bayern (58), Dortmund (56), Union Berlin (51), RBL (48), Freiburg (47), Leverkusen (43)
  • Bottom Three: Stuttgart (23), Hertha (22), Schalke (21)

La Liga

  • Biggest win (scoreline): Real Madrid 2-3 Villarreal
  • Shock result: Real Madrid 2-3 Villarreal
  • Star Performance: Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal) - two goals vs Rela Madrid

Xavi’s Barcelona is one step closer to their first La Liga title under the former midfielder thanks to bitter rivals Real Madrid suffering a shock loss at the Santiago Bernabeu against Villarreal, in a match that saw Nigerian international winger Samuel Chukwueze bag a brace to seal all three points. Barça’s match against Girona has not kicked off at the time of writing, but should they defeat their fellow Catalans, their lead at the top of the table will extend to 14 points with 10 matches remaining.

Capital rivals Atlético Madrid took advantage of Real’s loss to close the gap to just two points after their Sunday night win at Rayo Vallecano, while Real Sociedad also gained ground on the Spanish giants thanks to a home result against Getafe. Athletic Club, and Osasuna, rounded out the winning results for top-half clubs after wins over Espanyol and Elche, with Cadiz and Almería coming out of the weekend as the only bottom-half sides to find three points during matchday 28.

With Valencia’s loss against Almería, all three clubs sitting in the relegation zone suffered defeats to keep them rooted in the cellar, while Valencia remains in a position that could see them drop out of La Liga for the first time since the 1985-86 season.

  • Top Six: Barcelona (71), Real Madrid (59), Atlético Madrid (57), Real Sociedad (51), Villarreal (47), Real Betis (45)
  • Bottom Three: Valencia (27), Espanyol (27), Elche (13)

Ligue 1

  • Biggest win (scoreline): Olympique Lyonnais 3-1 Stade Rennais
  • Shock result: SCO Angers 1-0 LOSC Lille
  • Star Performance: Paul Bernardoni (Angers Sporting Club de l’Ouest) - five saves & shutout against LOSC Lille

French giants Paris Saint-Germain got back on track at the weekend thanks to a credible 2-0 away win against Nice to keep their six-point lead over high-flying Lens, who continues to push the capital side after a Friday night win over relegation candidate Strasbourg. The two sides were joined by Lyon’s win over Rennes as the only top-half outfits to find wins at the weekend, with Lille’s shock away loss against bottom-feeders Angers highlighting a tough day at the office for those with European aspirations.

Building on Angers’ third win of the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season, Clermont Foot, Toulouse, and Auxerre also posted wins at the weekend over Troyes, Montpellier, and Ajaccio respectively, but despite a smattering of some decent results, six sides look rather capable of failing to avoid the drop come the end of term.

  • Top Six: PSG (69), Lens (63), Marseille (61), Monaco (58), Lille (52), Rennes (50)
  • Bottom Four: Strasbourg (26), Troyes (21), Ajaccio (21), Angers (14)

Serie A

  • Biggest win (scoreline): Sampdoria 2-3 Cremonese
  • Shock result: AC Milan 0-0 Empoli
  • Star Performance: Sebastiano Luperto (Empoli) - 12 clearances, 4 blocks, 5 aerial duels won vs AC Milan

A 4-0 drubbing at the hands of AC Milan last weekend did not stand in the way of table-topping SSC Napoli for long as the run-away Serie A leaders went away from home to bring back all three points against free-falling Lecce in a 2-1 win. The southern Italian outfit remains 16 points clear of second-sitting Lazio who bagged a win against Juventus by the same scoreline. José Mourinho’s Roma also fought to a win at the weekend against a tricky Torino side in a 1-0 affair in Piemonte.

Thiago Motta’s Bologna was the only other top-half outfit to win this weekend thanks to a win at Atalanta. Bologna now shockingly sits just five points off a top-six place after Motta revitalized the club this season. Even more surprising is the notion that the only other two weekend wins across the top flight of Italian football came via relegation candidate duo Verona and Cremonese after wins over Sassuolo and Sampdoria respectively. After 29 matchdays in the books, the Scudetto is still very much Napoli’s to lose, but collective battles for the European places as well as across midtable remain highly entertaining.

  • Top Six: Napoli (74), Lazio (58), Roma (53), Milan (52), Inter (51), Atalanta (48)
  • Bottom Three: Verona (22), Cremonese (16), Sampdoria (15)

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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